Russia decided to block the transfer of the third part of the contribution of the Council of Europe for 2017, said the speaker of the state Duma Vyacheslav Volodin. We are talking about 11 million euros. In the Council of Europe argue that official notice from the Russian authorities was not received.
“Withheld. And Valentina Ivanovna (Matviyenko, the speaker of the Federation Council. — “MK”) said this, and Lavrov (the foreign Minister. — “MK”), and we talked about this — the third blocked”. This statement the speaker made in conversation with reporters, returning from Belgrade. During the visit of the official delegation of the state Duma in the capital of Serbia (it includes the heads of six Duma committees, and representatives of all factions) the subject of years-long crisis in relations between Russia and the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe raised repeatedly.
The speaker of the Serbian Parliament Maya gojkovic, in particular, said that inter-parliamentary cooperation between the state Duma and the Assembly serve as a “basis for cooperation in international parliamentary organizations” such as the OSCE, the Interparliamentary Union and the PA of the black sea economic cooperation. In PACE, said Ms. gojkovic, “Serbia has always been and is against deprivation of the Russian delegation vote”. The head of the foreign Affairs Committee of the Assembly George Urbanovich reminded that “Serbia has never joined in international organizations any initiative directed against Russia.”
The speaker of the state Duma, in turn, stressed the importance of the fact that Serbia was now an observer in the CSTO PA (the organization of collective security Treaty includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan). And PACE without Russia, said Mr. Volodin, all became “not a place for discussions”…
We will remind: the Russian delegation was deprived of the vote in the plenary of PACE and a number of other important powers in 2014, immediately after the annexation of Crimea and aggravation of the situation in the South-East of Ukraine. To impose sanctions like that made the rules applicable to this organization: they provide for the procedure of confirmation of powers of the national delegations at the beginning of each year, and the decision on non-confirmation or partial confirmation by a majority of votes of the members present in the hall. In 2016 and 2017 Russia at the PACE session did not participate in the protest. In this case all the contacts were not curtailed. Attempts to solve the problem, lobbied amendments to the statutes of the PACE, it was unsuccessful.
In the past three years, many times there was talk about that in an extreme case, Russia may stop paying for the maintenance of the PACE (again, to participate in its work fully is impossible). But inevitably the question arose about the legal procedure of registration of such decision. The fact that the contribution that is paid by the member countries of the Council of Europe is indivisible and runs through the contents of several permanent bodies: PACE, Committee of Ministers, Congress of local and regional authorities, European court of human rights. With all of them, except the PACE, the cooperation continues as normal. At the same time Russia, along with France, Italy, Germany and Britain — one of the main sponsors of the CE. In 2017, it must pay about 40 million euros. The money is transferred in three tranches. That the third tranche (about 11 million Euro) will be blocked, and said Mr. Volodin…
Ms. Matvienko, which was referred to the speaker of the state Duma, was not so categorical: a few days ago, she said only that now the foreign Ministry is working on the legal side of the question. But a principled decision not to pay, it seems, has indeed been made.
“We can just suspend the payments, paying the fee is not full, and all this kind of stuff, and if they deem this step as a violation of the financial commitments undertaken by Russia upon entry — even if expelled from Council of Europe if you want. But I think they will not do it” — so the conversation with “MK” has explained the possible consequences of this step Mikhail Emelyanov (WED), formerly the Russian delegation in PACE.
When constructive cooperation within the PACE will be resumed, “we will return to the question of the restoration of numbers of our contribution to previous values”, said the head of the Duma Committee on international Affairs Leonid Slutsky (LDPR).
“Our absence on the court the PACE dragged on… All this prompted us to adopt a justified decision on the reduction of the contribution of Russia in the Council of Europe, and will soon be implemented,” — said the Deputy.
Sanctions . Chronicle of events